Matthew 5:22 – But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.
This past week we learned something about our government. They are spying on us. Some people reading this will be shocked. Many will be relieved that this is all finally out in the open. But Fred, the American government doesn’t spy on Americans, right? No, I’m sorry. America has a history of spying on us.
Back in the 1920’s, what was considered the predecessor to the NSA was a group of government code breakers who went under the name “Black Chamber.” Their job was to review all international telegraphs that went to and from the United States so that they could read them for international threats.
In 1945, Operation SHAMROCK continued to listen in on Americans even after WWII was over. By 1952, the NSA took over the operation and was listening in to over 150,000 messages per month.
Going back even to the Civil War, William Alvin Lloyd was tasked to spy in the south and report directly to President Abraham Lincoln.
These are just a few of the examples.
But something else happened out of all of this.
The ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) has taken the government to court, suing for breaches of the First Amendment and the Fourth Amendment. As a Christian, we have always been brought up to look at the ACLU as an enemy. I’ve heard the names Anti-Christian Liberals Union and Anti-Christian Litigation Unit. I, myself, have been guilty of this name calling as well.
As Christians, we need to be very careful how we speak. Mimi and I did a Bible study the other night that revolved around effective communication for Christians. Both she and I know our own communications limitations and wanted to begin solidifying our abilities to communicate with each other without making each other angry or hurt. That is simply common sense for those we love.
But it should also be common sense for those we don’t even know.
Think about your testimony and what people will think of Christians if we go around lowering ourselves to petty name calling.
Church, we are called to be light and salt. This means we need to stand up for justice. But we should never stand up for just while being unjust to another person, even if they themselves are the unjust.
Matthew 5:22 tells us that our anger with others will bring us judgment. Calling someone contemptible is subject to the court. Anyone that calls someone a fool (and I will go so far as to say that calling the ACLU foolish names to make them look foolish fits within that definition) is subject to the fires of hell.